These easy Dutch oven recipes work in a cast iron Dutch oven: and they’re not just soup recipes. Think: risotto, bread, healthy broth, and more.
Do you have a Dutch oven? When Alex and I first starting cooking, we had no idea what a Dutch oven was. But we asked for this heavy-duty cooking pot as a Christmas gift one year, and the rest is history! For years we’ve been using it to make bread, soups and stews, cook dried beans, and more. There are so many easy Dutch oven recipes, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are all our favorites: then scroll down to learn more about Dutch ovens and which we use.
And now…the best easy Dutch oven recipes!
What is a Dutch oven? Why use a Dutch oven?
Before we start: what is a Dutch oven? A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a lid that’s used for braising meat and making soups and stews. Dutch ovens can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, and they’re typically made of cast iron. Some Dutch ovens have an enamel coating over the cast iron, which makes them easier to clean.
Why use a Dutch oven when you’re cooking?
- Dutch ovens hold heat well! When we first started using our Dutch oven, we were surprised at how smoothly sauteeing happens. It definitely feels more luxurious than doing the same thing in a normal pan.
- Dutch ovens are oven proof! Sounds simple, but it’s nice to have a pan that can be used on the stovetop and in the oven.
- Dutch ovens look pretty. Maybe this is silly, but we keep our Dutch oven out on our stove because it’s nice to look at and gives a cozy vibe.
- Dutch ovens can cook a myriad of things! Dutch oven soup recipes are delicious, but there are so many other things you can cook as well! Bread, dried beans, risottos: keep reading for the recipes.
Which and what size Dutch oven should I buy?
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, it can be overwhelming to try to find which brand and size of Dutch oven you should buy. Here are the ones we use: we have had great luck with both:
- Staub Dutch Oven 5.5 Quart This Staub Dutch oven is our workhorse Dutch oven that we use for everyday soups, risottos and more. The 5 quart size is perfect for a large batch of soup or chili.
- Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven This is the best dutch oven for bread, in our opinion! We use it to bake our sourdough bread recipe and it works like a charm.
Want to bake artisan bread in a dutch oven? Here’s an easy Dutch oven bread with a crispy crust and tender inside: perfect for sandwiches.
- 200 grams all purpose flour (1 1/3 cups)
- 200 grams bread flour (1 1/3 cups)
- 80 grams whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)
- 11 grams kosher salt (1/2 tablespoon)
- 6 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 325 grams purified water, room temperature (1 1/3 cups)
- 50 grams Greek yogurt (1/4 cup) or substitute plain vegan yogurt*
- Mix the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flours, kosher salt, and yeast. Stir lightly with the dough hook to combine. Add the water and Greek yogurt and stir again until just combined. (Note: You need a stand mixer for this recipe as kneading by hand would be too sticky.)
- Proof the dough: Place bowl and dough hook on stand mixer and knead for 8 minutes on low speed. After mixing, transfer the dough to a small bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place (we use an 80° proofing oven) until doubled in size — 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
- Preheat the Dutch oven: When the dough has risen, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 475°F. Prepare a piece of parchment paper about 8 inches wide by 12 inches long.
- Shape the dough (watch the video instructions!): Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter; the dough should be formed into a gently rounded shape. Rub just enough flour onto the top of the dough so that it isn’t tacky. Use the bench scraper to flip the dough so that the floured side is down. Gently stretch the dough into a rectangle. Moving quickly, fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third up to create a packet. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and gently roll it into a log shape. Be careful to not press the dough or deflate it. Use your hands to gently pull the dough tight and pinch off the seams at the end of the dough. Carefully transfer the dough to the parchment paper and allow to rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Bake the bread: After the dough has rested, use a lame or sharp knife to cut a shallow slit at angle across the top of the dough. As quickly as possible, using a hot pad remove the lid from the Dutch oven and carefully place the parchment paper with dough into the Dutch oven. Cover it and set the timer for 17 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temp and continue baking: After 17 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. With a hot pad remove the Dutch oven, carefully take out the bread. and set the bread directly onto the oven rack. Bake for an additional 23 minutes.
- Cool the bread: Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes. After cooling, the bread is ready to eat. Store the bread wrapped in cloth or in a bread bag on the counter for up to 2 days, or freeze it wrapped in foil in a plastic bag for several months.
*This Dutch oven bread has been successfully tested using plain coconut yogurt as a vegan variation.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Bread
Keywords: Dutch Oven Recipes
Looking for more?
Browse more Dutch oven recipes:
- Golden Vegetable Soup Recipe
- All-Star Sweet Potato Chili
- Ultra Creamy Leek Soup
- Italian Soup with Vegetables & Gnocchi
- Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable Stew)
Last updated: May 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.